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#1 2014-09-05 05:30:24

ylvs
Mantis
From: Art Central
Registered: 2001-06-19
Posts: 13269

Sleeping Late - discussion and speculation SPOILERS AHEAD

So let us finally discuss and disect the latest Bobby Dollar novel.

I've been waiting to talk to you about it for weeks and weeks and now I have no time to properly start.

Maybe tonight.

Everybody not having read SLOJD -

BEWARE!  This thread will contain heavy spoilers on prolly all Bobby Dollar novels. So enter at your own risk.


To meet an old friend is like the finding of a welcoming campfire in the dark. Qanuc saying
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#2 2014-09-05 06:25:30

Ad1tu
Pilgrim
From: Buffysadharc
Registered: 2004-02-22
Posts: 6325

Re: Sleeping Late - discussion and speculation SPOILERS AHEAD

I for one am sad we did not get to see G-Man in this novel.

I still don't understand Caz. But I do think it's really cool that she's helping out in Kainos at the end. I feel like that's more of the Third Way I had pictured in my mind, which is mostly based on bits of what Sam said in DSoH and Bobby's multiple thoughts of "Hell is supposed to be for enternity??" throughout HHiH. Although, after reading this book, I also think maybe there's multiple angels doing side-projects.

Because I guess I really have three major questions at the end of SLoJD. (There's lots of little ones.)
1) Still, what does/did Eligor get out of making a deal to create Kainos? He seems really keen on torture and eternal torment. (My crazy answer to this is that he's really sick and tired of Hell, I mean he's been there a while, and all the torturing Bobby was not only to keep up appearances, but he was worried Bobby might spill the beans and ruin the Kainos thing that was his escape plan.)
2) Did Karael REALLY partner up with Anaita willingly? Or did Anaita hijack his ideas, and he was simply biding his time until she could be brought down?
3) This one is a two-parter. If the Third Way is supposed to be an alternative afterlife, (a) How come only newly dead souls got to go there? and (b) Is this Third Way the hope for the Lifters down in Hell?


If you should do what makes you happy, and no one can tell you what makes you happy, then that means no one can tell you what to do!

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#3 2014-09-09 10:23:54

Seitherin
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From: Texas, near Houston
Registered: 2001-06-01
Posts: 8044
Website

Re: Sleeping Late - discussion and speculation SPOILERS AHEAD

I want to know why Caz is in Kainos.

I want to know if other demons can get there now since the accord between Eligor and Kephas has supposedly been broken.

I want to know what happened to Sam.

I want to know what the point of Kainos is.

(Just a bundle of want, aren't I?)


"The evil done by men of goodwill is the worst of all." Iain Pears, The Dream of Scipio

"Where all think alike, no one thinks very much." Walter Lippmann (1889-1974)

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#4 2014-09-09 12:55:16

ylvs
Mantis
From: Art Central
Registered: 2001-06-19
Posts: 13269

Re: Sleeping Late - discussion and speculation SPOILERS AHEAD

As far as I understood it Anaita created Kainos to be worshipped as a goddes again.

Still no time for more thoughts, maybe tomorow when I probably will be waiting for hours to get my MRT done ...


To meet an old friend is like the finding of a welcoming campfire in the dark. Qanuc saying
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Titan of fact-checking and priceless source of Osten-Ard-iana
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#5 2014-09-09 12:59:49

Magpie
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Posts: 32649
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Re: Sleeping Late - discussion and speculation SPOILERS AHEAD

That was my understanding as well.

But overall, at the end, I felt like the book left us with at least as many new unanswered questions as with answers to old ones...

I should read it again to properly appreciate it. But so many books, so little time...


Basically, I'm Prince Josua in jeans and sneakers, or a different flavor of Renie Sulaweyo.
- Tad

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#6 2014-09-09 14:42:37

Seitherin
Mantis
From: Texas, near Houston
Registered: 2001-06-01
Posts: 8044
Website

Re: Sleeping Late - discussion and speculation SPOILERS AHEAD

ylvs wrote:

As far as I understood it Anaita created Kainos to be worshipped as a goddes again.

But somebody, probably Karael, was manipulating her. And why would Eligor go along with the plan to create a Third Way? What was in it for him? Did she offer to make him a (minor) deity for his cooperation? Which would mean he knew what she wanted all along.


"The evil done by men of goodwill is the worst of all." Iain Pears, The Dream of Scipio

"Where all think alike, no one thinks very much." Walter Lippmann (1889-1974)

So, I've got a blog . . . Now what? | A Stitch in Time | The Name Nook

 

#7 2014-09-15 21:10:55

redNathalie
Pilgrim
From: ubiquitous
Registered: 2001-06-01
Posts: 12694

Re: Sleeping Late - discussion and speculation SPOILERS AHEAD

Finishing this book made me realize how much I would enjoy a standalone story about Mr. Foxy Foxy. The tiny scene with him at the end was one of my favorites of the whole book, and it's just because the idea of him fills me with glee. ^_^


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#8 2014-09-16 03:22:08

Peter
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From: Austria
Registered: 2001-08-23
Posts: 39185
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Re: Sleeping Late - discussion and speculation SPOILERS AHEAD

redNathalie wrote:

Finishing this book made me realize how much I would enjoy a standalone story about Mr. Foxy Foxy. The tiny scene with him at the end was one of my favorites of the whole book, and it's just because the idea of him fills me with glee. ^_^

That might be the first Tad book I would not finish. He'd drive me nuts :D .


May the birds who shelter in your branches never poop on the innocent. -Tad

 

#9 2014-09-16 06:59:30

Ad1tu
Pilgrim
From: Buffysadharc
Registered: 2004-02-22
Posts: 6325

Re: Sleeping Late - discussion and speculation SPOILERS AHEAD

Oh I love how Foxy talks, I would totally read a story about him.


If you should do what makes you happy, and no one can tell you what makes you happy, then that means no one can tell you what to do!

Tamishu's Ramblings

 

#10 2014-09-30 14:44:10

heliumanchors
Pilgrim
Registered: 2014-09-30
Posts: 4

Re: Sleeping Late - discussion and speculation SPOILERS AHEAD

Hello everyone!

Long time Tad reader, first time poster on these here boards. I just finished reading the Bobby Dollar series last night (“Sleeping Late” is meant to be the conclusion, at least for now, right?), and it has left my head reeling with mountains of unresolved questions, just as I am sure Tad intended, the diabolical monster that he is ;).

While others seem to have commented on a few other questions as well (e.g., What was the full extent of Karael’s involvement with Anaita? And what exactly did Eligor hope to get out of his bargain with Anaita and/or Karael?), these seem, at least to me, to have been sufficiently hinted at through Bobby’s last conversation with Karael; I am willing to let them be “provocative mysteries” and contribute to a more fulfilling ending that a completely neatly wrapped up package with bows and tinsel. The following questions, however, are plaguing me (I had a lot of trouble getting to sleep afterwards and definitely had more than one Bobby Dollar-related dream last night):

1.    What happened to several of the characters who “died” (relative to their varying degrees of personhood, that is)?

-    Sam: why would he not just get re-bodied? With Anaita out of the way, who would prevent this from happening? Something to do with being an angel in Kainos? I.e., since Heaven isn’t monitoring this world are angel souls not recovered when they are killed? What happened to all the human souls who were killed by Anaita in Kainos, for that matter? Was that ever answered or at least alluded to?

-    Halyna: was her soul judged and sent to Heaven (or Hell)? Or, since Anaita would know that this judgement would include an examination of how she was killed (amongst other relevant events), are we to assume that Anaita has a process in place to deal with the situation where she has killed a human on Earth? I think the fact that the whistle wasn’t blown on Anaita when she killed Halyna is a pretty sure sign that she must have interfered somehow... What does this mean for Halyna’s soul? Is it just “gone”? Or given an express ticket to Hell, considering Anaita’s inferred involvement and her established ability to do just without Heaven knowing (Walter Sanders)? Or is there any way we can at least reasonably hope that Halyna’s soul made it somewhere nice? Seems like Kainos would be a nice place for her... :(.

(As far as I can recall, these death/soul questions had no direct clues given as to the answer and were probably meant to be open ended... doesn’t mean that they don’t nag on my mind like crazy, however, haha.)

2.    Who was Karl Gustibus?

Clues:

-    He never sits down (this is emphasized several times at critical junctures). Not sure what this means; I can’t think of any other characters who had this trait, but it seems like it was meant to be significant.

-    Obviously knows a lot of shit about Heaven/angels in general and is really old.

-    In general seems kiiiind of Temuel-like in his demeanour, but I base this on absolutely nothing, really, and there were I think a few indications that this was not the case (can’t recall specifically what these were either, however... I know, helpful).

3.    And, most pressingly in my mind, who was Bobby Dollar as a human?

Clues:

-    Dude loves old jazz and blues music (could be irrelevant, i.e. perhaps he picked up this predilection during his angelic life, but knowing Tad I would tend to think not).

-    Can’t remember which book this was even, but wasn’t there some rumination about a possible career in baseball (or some other type of sportsball) or something like that? Seemed pretty non-sequitur/red herring-like at the time, though...

-    Gustibus cryptically mentioned that he must love San Judas a lot, hinting at his previous residence there.

-    Obviously Anaita’s references his interference with her while he was alive (Direct? Or unknowing, perhaps?), also reinforcing the “lived in San Judas as a human” theory.

-    And the most direct clue being his flashes of insight in the museum while Anaita is... “affecting” him, shall we say. I do not have the book in front of me (I am totally writing all this at work, haha), but something about dust in the sunlight, general debris around him and something pinning him down and crushing him, a dusty, bloody woman with “eyes half closed” (dead? or still alive?), and the sound of a baby crying the distance. What does this indicate? Presumably this is how his mortal body died... a building collapse in an earthquake, maybe? What timeframe would this have been? In the neighbourhood of the 20 or 30 years that he remembers of his angelic life? Or possibly much longer than that? Were the woman and the baby his wife and child then? Did they survive? Are they still alive, possibly characters whom we have encountered throughout the course of the novels? So many questions!!!

Tad really hammered home, repeatedly, our protagonist’s direct questioning of many of the story’s mysteries in his little “stop-everything-what-about-this?” soliloquies... While some of these are probably meant to be left unresolved, I really feel like there are (possibly? hopefully?) answers or at least strong hints to some of these questions hidden within the story that I have thus far yet to unravel. Any additional thoughts/observations/exclamations of “you’re high, heliumanchors, he totally answered that in Chapter 12 of book 2” please let me know!

I was also hoping for a bit more explication on the nature of Heaven and Hell than we ended up getting. I was skeptical coming into these books, as the urban noir fantasy genre or whatever it is called with angels and crap is really not usually my kind of thing. However, being a tremendous fan of essentially anything this man does, I still dove in unreservedly, and of course what I experienced was a fully realized, not-specifically-religious mythology rife with surreal, enigmatic under currents and all sorts of wonderful Tad Williamsian flourishes throughout (the inclusion of the back story of Anaita being a separate “goddess” prior to becoming an angel under the Highest was a particularly nice touch that adds a huge layer of cool ambiguity to the mythology as a whole). The model and mythology of Heaven and Hell presented was certainly more compelling than I had anticipated, although I am not sure what exactly I was expecting beyond my close-minded, slightly anti-religiously-biased impressions of what this genre would typically entail. Anyways, all Bobby’s hard questions about “People have to spend forever in Hell? Really?” and “Why is Heaven so indistinct and nebulous and Hell is so brutally real?” really had me hoping for some kind of grand reveal about the overall nature of the Bobby Dollar Universe, maybe something that directly involved (or at least more than vaguely referenced) the Highest and the Adversary themselves. There is really room for a lot of expansion on these ideas; as much as I am ecstatic that he’s going back to Osten Ard (yay!), at this point I am definitely pining for more Bobby Dollar at some point in the future as well.

Maybe all this inquisition is asking too much, and the open-endedness is really a good thing. How much should an author reveal about his or her universe? Too much, and you’re left with nothing to contemplate once it’s over. Not enough, and you’re into “LOST” territory for alienating an audience with waaaaaaay more pointed, specific questions than answers (don’t get me wrong: I love that show and consider myself a “LOST” apologist in most circles, even about the ending; just using it as an example). Obviously there are no objective answers to these questions either. Maybe I just like questions.

Anyways, I will conclude my long winded rant now. I hope everyone is enjoying pondering the unponderable as much as me. See you around the board!

Best,
Arlen

Last edited by heliumanchors (2014-10-02 16:31:25)

 

#11 2014-09-30 15:05:11

ylvs
Mantis
From: Art Central
Registered: 2001-06-19
Posts: 13269

Re: Sleeping Late - discussion and speculation SPOILERS AHEAD

Welcome to the boards Arlen!
Very fine first post with lots of questions I am pondering myself.
I thought a lot about Gustibus as well and wheter he was based on a historic person. I asked Tad on the reddit AMA.
This is what he said:

Tad on reddit wrote:

Let's just say he might be. (Because I haven't decided.) But there is no historic person with that name, no.


To meet an old friend is like the finding of a welcoming campfire in the dark. Qanuc saying
Scrollbearer
Titan of fact-checking and priceless source of Osten-Ard-iana
Arsonist of the probably most spectacular Mint burning ever

 

#12 2014-10-01 09:20:03

heliumanchors
Pilgrim
Registered: 2014-09-30
Posts: 4

Re: Sleeping Late - discussion and speculation SPOILERS AHEAD

Hmmm, interesting, ylvs... had not even considered that possibility. And that is actually kind of relieving to hear that Tad doesn't know either (at least on that particular point)...

Seriously, why does he never sit though??? Haha.

 

#13 2014-10-02 19:31:14

heliumanchors
Pilgrim
Registered: 2014-09-30
Posts: 4

Re: Sleeping Late - discussion and speculation SPOILERS AHEAD

From the redditt AMA:

"The third book, "Sleeping Late on Judgement Day", is pretty much written (I'm doing rewrites) and will finish up this first set of mysteries while keeping the story open for me to do stand-alone Bobby Dollar books afterward, because I really like writing them (and him)."

Thanks for pointing me in the direction of this, ylvs. In addition to being an interesting read in general, this makes me feel a bit more... well, not resolution, but satisfaction that there isn't resolution for a bunch the loose ends left hanging. Also, excitement :).

Last edited by heliumanchors (2014-10-02 22:25:04)

 

#14 2014-10-03 00:12:50

ylvs
Mantis
From: Art Central
Registered: 2001-06-19
Posts: 13269

Re: Sleeping Late - discussion and speculation SPOILERS AHEAD

Arlen, you must have read last year's AMA as Sleeping Late is published.
The one I took the quote from is here.
Not much more Bobby Dollar questions iirc, peeps were mailny talking about Tad's return to Osten Ard.
And you're very welcome of course.


To meet an old friend is like the finding of a welcoming campfire in the dark. Qanuc saying
Scrollbearer
Titan of fact-checking and priceless source of Osten-Ard-iana
Arsonist of the probably most spectacular Mint burning ever

 

#15 2014-10-03 14:29:04

heliumanchors
Pilgrim
Registered: 2014-09-30
Posts: 4

Re: Sleeping Late - discussion and speculation SPOILERS AHEAD

Ahh, I see... gettin' alllll caught up on my reddit AMA's ;).

So, essentially all of my frantic queries were based on the notion that the series was concluded and that additional info was not forthcoming (historically we have not gotten sequels to any of his previous works... clearly this is not the case any longer, on more than one front!). Sooooo unless anyone does have any brilliant insight on the story as it stands I guess it's just a matter of waiting for the continuation from the horse's mouth itself :).

 

#16 2015-01-12 07:39:18

laubackerj
Pilgrim
From: Poughkeepsie, NY
Registered: 2001-06-03
Posts: 2

Re: Sleeping Late - discussion and speculation SPOILERS AHEAD

heliumanchors wrote:

Ahh, I see... gettin' alllll caught up on my reddit AMA's ;).

So, essentially all of my frantic queries were based on the notion that the series was concluded and that additional info was not forthcoming (historically we have not gotten sequels to any of his previous works... clearly this is not the case any longer, on more than one front!). Sooooo unless anyone does have any brilliant insight on the story as it stands I guess it's just a matter of waiting for the continuation from the horse's mouth itself :).

This was one of my problems with Sleeping Late.  It left far too many unanswered questions, while not really answering any.   I don't mind an ongoing series, but this book just felt like Bobby stumbling from crisis to crisis while not resolving or learning much of anything, even about himself.

 

#17 2015-04-24 21:28:25

Auros
Pilgrim
From: San Mateo, CA
Registered: 2001-11-23
Posts: 7594
Website

Re: Sleeping Late - discussion and speculation SPOILERS AHEAD

I finally got to the end of Sleeping Late.

I too am left with a lot of questions about the inner workings of various higher-ups' conspiracies.

I sort of have the impression that it's at least possible that power ultimately flows from souls -- that even if some of the entities now known as angels and demons pre-date humanity, they would be much lesser beings without humanity's souls.  Anaita, back when she was a goddess, was worshipped, and that made her strong.  Heaven and Hell have managed to shut out other contenders, forming a cartel in which every soul gets assigned to one or the other.  Heaven drains them in a manner somewhat like the Matrix's second-law violating use of humans as batteries.  Hell tends to hammer souls into tools, in an almost literal sense.  But both are out to exploit them.

It's possible that Karael is a true revolutionary, out to offer folks a way out.  Or he might simply be trying to develop a power base so that he can take over.  Hard to know.

If Karael is really a good guy, and just keeping Bobby in the dark because he still thinks it's safer that way -- fewer secrets to be betrayed if somebody gets ahold of Bobby and sets about extracting information -- then it's also possibly that Temuel's missionary work to Hell is part of the master plan.

I'm trying to remember from earlier books -- I think Sam and Bobby's commanding officer in the Harps, Leo, got killed in the mission to capture the psychopath who became Smyler, right?  And didn't come back from that?  Or possibly on some other occasion...  I'm still wondering what really happened to him.  Possibly Karael relocated him to run the double-secret training facility that archangel Samkiel sent Haraheliel / Harrison Ely / Clarence to?

Is there a Bobby Dollar wiki up where we can hash out various character bios?

Last edited by Auros (2015-04-24 21:28:38)


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#18 2015-04-25 08:40:47

ylvs
Mantis
From: Art Central
Registered: 2001-06-19
Posts: 13269

Re: Sleeping Late - discussion and speculation SPOILERS AHEAD

Auros, your idea that power comes from souls is most intriguing. Kudos.

And I as well still wonder how Leo was killed and I also remember that he was killed during the smyler-op.

I don't think there is a Bobby Dollar Wiki but it would be fab to have one!


To meet an old friend is like the finding of a welcoming campfire in the dark. Qanuc saying
Scrollbearer
Titan of fact-checking and priceless source of Osten-Ard-iana
Arsonist of the probably most spectacular Mint burning ever

 

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